Gigi Ugulava, who was suspended from the mayor’s post due to a criminal case, accuses the Prosecutor’s Office of immoral actions and eavesdropping. According to Ugulava’s statement made on March 12th, the Prosecutor’s Office added his conversation with his daughter to the criminal case against him. The case concerns financial aspects of the Tbilisi Development Fund.
Ugulava calls Chief Prosecutor’s actions immoral
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 13
Ugulava emphasizes that the Prosecutor’s office uses illegal methods and acts immorally.
“It is just a private conversation with my daughter. No one has ever committed such action…” Ugulava stated, noting that the current Georgian government uses the same methods they criticized the United National Movement government for.
MPs from the United National Movement Pavle Kublashvili and Akaki Bobokhidze do not claim that the action was illegal. However, like Ugulava, they stress that the Chief Prosecutor’s Office uses immoral ways and does its best for Ugulava to be sentenced pre-trial detention.
The representatives of the Georgian Dream state that Ugulava is afraid that he might be detained, and the statement made by him is much exaggerated.
“If the Prosecutor’s Office really violated the law and illegally eavesdropped on Ugulava, this is a criminal action. However, Ugulava has been accused and presumably the Prosecutor’s Office would have permission for such an action,” the coalition MP Zviad Dzidziguri stated.
The Prosecutor’s Office responded to the allegations.
According to the official statement, made on March 7, 2014, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia completed an investigation into the criminal case of Giorgi Ugulava and others and it was sent to the Tbilisi City Court for consideration.
“In accordance with the requirements of the law, the Prosecutor’s Office handed all of the criminal case files over to the defense, including the defendant Giorgi Ugulava’s wiretaps of evidentiary importance obtained as a result of the operative-investigative measures ‘secret listening and recording of telephone conversations’ carried out on the basis of the Tbilisi City Court judge's order of December 24, 2013,” the Prosecutor’s Office stated.
The prosecutor’s office emphasizes that Ugulava “distorted” and made the content of the conversations publicly clear in order to mislead the society and discredit the Prosecutor’s Office on the previous day of the pre-trial hearing scheduled for March 12, 2014.
Former mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, has been charged with misspending of GEL 48.1 million (about USD $28.2 million) of public money from the capital city’s development fund, the municipal entity which was designed to finance rehabilitation of old parts of Tbilisi. Hearing over the case was scheduled for March 12. It was postponed for March 17 though later.